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Bachelor of Science in Premedical and Health Studies — Optometry Pathway (BS/OD)

Location: Boston
Start Term: Fall

As an optometrist, you have the power to help patients improve their vision and see the world through a brighter lens. This program allows you to begin your education focused on your career goals, so you’ll be well prepared to start treating patients on the first day of your new career.

In this professional pathway, you have the opportunity to earn a combined Bachelor of Science in Premedical and Health Studies (BS) and Doctor of Optometry (OD) from MCPHS in seven or eight years. During either three years in the accelerated track or four years in the traditional track at MCPHS in Boston, you’ll receive a challenging baccalaureate curriculum that prepares you for professional study. You’ll spend the next four years at MCPHS in Worcester to complete the professional education required for the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree.

Already have a bachelor's degree? Learn more about the Doctor of Optometry program on our Worcester campus.

Freshman applicants can view their admission requirements on the Undergraduate Applicants page.

Students with 12 or more college credits may transfer in to the first or second year of the program. Courses must have been completed at a regionally accredited college or university with a grade of C or better for transfer. Math and science courses taken more than ten years prior to the anticipated date of matriculation to MCPHS will not be accepted.

While there are no specific required courses for entry into the first year of our program, the admission committee will look for success in any math and science courses you have already taken. If you complete any of the courses listed below, you may receive transfer credit and your first year course load may be lighter. However, due to the block registration nature of MCPHS programs, entering the first year of the program with transfer credits will not change the total length of your program. Courses, other than elective courses, may not be moved forward in your schedule.

Required Courses for Entry Into Year II:

  • General Biology I & II with lab (8 credits)
  • General Chemistry I & II with lab (8 credits)
  • Calculus I & II (8 credits)
  • Expository Writing I & II (6 credits)
  • American Culture, Identity, and Public Life (3 credits) (Acceptable substitutions include Introduction to Sociology or upper-level sociology course)

Additional Courses Accepted for Transfer Credit:

  • Cultural Anthropology (3 credits)
  • Introduction to Psychology (3 credits)
  • Interpersonal Communications for Health Professionals (3 credits)
  • Behavioral Sciences Elective (3 credits) (Acceptable courses include any upper-level psychology course)
  • Humanities elective (3 credits) (Acceptable courses include Literature, Creative Writing, Philosophy, Ethics, Religious Studies, Select Fine Arts, Advanced Level Languages)
  • Liberal Arts elective (3 credits) (Acceptable courses include Behavioral Science, Humanities or Social Science courses)

Year I-Fall

BIO 150L Biology I Laboratory 1
BIO 151 Biology I: Cell and Molecular Biology 3
CHE 131 Chemical Principles I w/ Lab 4
FYS 101 Introduction to the Major 1
LIB 111 Expository Writing I 3
MAT 151 Calculus I 3

Year I-Spring

BIO 152 Biology II: Biology of Organisms w/ Lab 4
CHE 132 Chemical Principles II w/ Lab 4
LIB 112 Expository Writing II 3
LIB 120 Introduction to Psychology 3
MAT 152 Calculus II 3

Year II-Fall

CHE 231 Organic Chemistry I w/ Lab 4
Behavioral Science elective I* 3
LIB 133 American Culture, Identity, and Public Life 3
LIB 205 Health Professions Orientation Seminar 1
PHY 280 Physics I w/ Lab 4

Year II-Spring

PHY 284 Physics II (w/ lab) 4
CHE 232 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHE 234L Organic Chemistry II Lab 1
SSC 230 Cultural Anthropology 3
LIB 220 Introduction to Interpersonal Communication for Health Professionals 3
Humanities elective 3

Year III-Fall

Behavioral Sciences elective II* 3
General Elective 3
BIO 360 Cellular Biochemistry 4
Advanced Biology elective I** 3
MAT 261 Statistics 3
*Two BEH electives are required and must be chosen from a specific list.
** Two Advanced Biology electives are required and must be chosen from a specific list.

Year III-Spring

Advanced Biology elective II** 3
LIB 512 Healthcare Ethics 3
BIO 255 Medical Microbiology w/ Lab 4
SSC 495 Evolution of the Health Professions 3
Liberal Arts elective*** 3
Total credits to complete degree requirements: 123 s.h.
**The Liberal Arts elective can be any 3 semester hour course in the following areas: BEH, SSC, HUM, language or communication.

For students moving on after their third undergraduate year to the professional phase of this pathway, fourth year undergraduate courses are replaced by successful completion of first year professional courses as follows:

  • The HUM elective is replaced by OPT651 (Optometry and Healthcare) and OPT721 (Visual Development)
  • LIB480 is replaced by OPT650 (Optometry Theory and Methods I and its lab, OPT650L)
  • Successful completion of the remainder of the first year optometry curriculum will fulfill the fourth year undergraduate general elective requirements.

Download the Program Fact Sheet

Find out what makes this program unique at MCPHS.